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Any idea why I'm craving peanutbutter and milk? Day 8 of paleo.

Answered on December 17, 2014
Created May 25, 2013 at 5:19 AM

Admittedly, I haven't dropped milk since going paleo because I need some source of protien and calcium aside from chicken and lettuce, but I'm craving peanut butter now, a food I hated for years until.. well, today. So truth be told I caved and had like 6 tbsp peanutbutter throughout the day, and 2 pints of milk, again spread out. Also on my menu was 2 fried eggs, from free range chickens (I bought these and some meat right from the farm) three 1/3 LB hamburgers made from 95/5 natural, grassfed ground beef, and two yellow squash. Why I'm craving milk and peanutbutter and ground beef so bad and so much is beyond me, much less why I'm so much more hungry suddenly than I have been over the last week of being paleo. Hack the cravings and evaluate how much damage I did today?

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048dd52752c45129c1212bfffb37ca72

on May 25, 2013
at 05:49 AM

For the craving thing I recommend you start the day with a HUGE breakfast consisting of a lot of protein (between 40 to 60 gr maybe), moderate fat and low carb (no more than 20gr from fibrous types, no sugar, fructose IMPORTANT).

With this big breakfast your stomach will get a deal of stuff and the vagus nerve will trigger a satiety signal to your brain and you will lower cortisol stress hormone alongside with the hormones that lead you to feel hunger/cravings, mostly the neuropeptide Y and ghrelin.

With this setting, you will find that during the rest of the day you can manager what you eat a lot better and then can plan better, you will face less difficulties to give up on foods that otherwise you would find very difficult to get ride because these hormones are telling you need them and it's very difficult to overcome body chemical responses (addiction in some way).

Why exactly you crave these foods? Well, it could be many factors here. Just one of them may be the fact that these food are pretty palatable (specially with peanut butter) and you brain detects them as high rewarding foods. Your brain wants you to have these rewarding stuff because it triggers release of serotonin (the feel good hormone) but when this happens many times the brain also gets used so you start to get a less intense signal from serotonin (you create a dose-tolerance) so you start needing more to get the same signal (start being dependant). That's how addiction works (more or less) and of course some food can become pretty addictive (think sugars!).

Regarding more why exactly these foods? It seems that the casein protein from milk and dairy can have some variations depending on the breeding family of the cows, it seems that some cows produce a type of casein called A1 which is known to carry a substance called casomorphin that acts as an opioid (so can be pretty darn addictive). Other types of cow (and most dairy from goats and sheeps) do carry the A2 type of casein that seems to be free of this issue. This could explain why many people feels a terrible addiction to cheese, milk in your case, etc.

As for the peanut butter, I'm not aware of any special substance that may cause this but it's pretty known topic that nuts in general are damm addictive, just make a search here on PH or Google and you'll feel loads of people reporting this, I myself have a hard time limiting them once I pick up some.

So, to sum up, the best way to get rid of these might be to leave them cold turkey but to face the cravings you need an strategy, implementing the big breakfast and trying to get your mind distracted with something when you feel the urge to eat them can help a lot.

0
9a5e2da94ad63ea3186dfa494e16a8d1

on December 17, 2014
at 04:16 AM

Paleo foods are slower to digest and nourish which is a good thing but your body is probably used to more of the "quick fix" you get from processed foods. So your body is adapting and asking for quick and easy calories. Unless you are working out like crazy or trying to gain weight I would resist and retrain your body to accept whole foods.

Interestingly I have read that Crossfit Games finalists with insane workout schedules such as 10-14 gruelling workouts per week and eating 6000+ calories per day often eat primarily whole milk and peanut butter. They need an enormous amount of calories and they must be high in protein and easily processed so these are the best things to eat. Just a funny coincidence that you mentioned exactly the same foods. Google Rich Fronings diet.

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